By Cherno Omar Bobb
The Gambia’s Para Powerlifting team that recently participated in the Para Powerlifting World Cup championship held in Manchester, in the United Kingdom, on Monday paid a courtesy call on the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) following powerlifter Modou Gamo’s outstanding performance.
The team was received by the first vice president of GNOC Beatrice Allen, GNOC secretary general Abdoulie Jallow and GNOC executive director Muhammed Janneh.
Speaking to the athletes, Beatrice Allen, who is also an honorary member of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) said the GNOC will always support any sport that aspires to participate in any international event. She said now that they are at this stage it shows that they have not wasted their money. She went on to assure the team of GNOC’s continuous support as long as they continue to perform well.
“We want to see sports develop in this country”, she said, highlighting that without athletes there is no national federation.
On his part, Abdoulie Jallow, GNOC secretary general said the prospects they saw in Gamo made them support him. He therefore thanked Gamo for making Gambians proud, expressing the hope that he would be at the Paralympics scheduled to be held in Tokyo in August 2021.
Mr. Jallow said, “as an NOC we will always put the athletes first”, noting that any athlete that has prospects of featuring in any Games, especially the Olympic Games, will be supported by GNOC.
In his contribution, the GNOC executive director Muhammed Janneh said the team’s performance has given them hope that they will be able to make it to the Paralympics Games. He added that they were not only supporting Paralympics but other sporting disciplines that are also preparing for the Olympic Games. He however assured the athletes and federations that GNOC’s support will now be based on performance.
Responding on behalf of the team, Hagie Drammeh, Modou Gamo’s coach thanked GNOC for their support. He added that Gamo’s performance in recent competitions shows that the Gambia has a lot of potentials in powerlifting.
Mr. Drammeh pointed out that despite Gamo facing athletes with better facilities he was able to break his personal best record with good lifts.
“Gamo finished fourth above athletes from United States of America, Russia, Georgia, Uzbekistan and other big nations, therefore qualifying for the Georgia and Dubai qualifiers”, he highlighted.
Mdou Gamo, Gambia’s top Para powerlifter on his part said his latest outing funded by GNOC was his best and assured that he was motivated to train and focus on the competition. He promised to continue working hard to win a gold medal at the Georgia qualifiers.
Gamo, who competed in the +107 categories, said it provided him an opportunity to improve his ranking and move towards qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
It could be recalled that the GNOC fully funded and supported Gambia’s participation in the Manchester Para Powerlifting World Cup held last month. The GNOC paid for the team’s visa fees, accommodation, tickets and allowance for the Manchester trip. This was to ensure that more Gambian athletes qualify for the Tokyo Paralympic Games set to take place later this year.